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Abstract Number: 002-0075






Micaela Martínez-Costa

University of Murcia, Spain

Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Campus de Espinardo 30100, Murcia

Phone: +34968367801 Fax: + 34 968 367537

Angel R. Martínez- Lorente

Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain

Facultad de Ciencias de la Empresa, Paseo Alfonso XIII, 50, 30203, Cartagena

Phone: +34968325618 Fax: +34968327008

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The effect of Total Quality Management (TQM) and ISO 9000 on performance has

been extensively analysed by researchers, but this sort of research has usually been developed

in separated cells. However, there are few articles analysing the effect of both systems within

the same sample of companies. Our paper analyses both the effect of a TQM system and the

ISO 9000 implementation in company performance. A structured questionnaire using the

Flynn et al. (1994) scale for measuring TQM has been used to get the data. A postal survey to

nearly 3000 industrial Spanish companies with more than 100 employees was sent. This

questionnaire was answered by 713 quality managers. The results show a positive

relationship between TQM application and hard and soft results while only an improvement

in hard results after the ISO 9000 implementation has been found.


Over the last two decades quality management has been an important research topic as

it can be seen by the important number of publications in scientific journals (Martínez et al.,

1998). This interest has mainly been motivated by the success’ stories of companies that, after

applying some sort of quality management, have increased their productivity and results.

In this way, many researchers have analysed the impact of TQM implementation on

business performance inquiring into the mechanisms that could make possible the

improvement in management (Elmuti and AlDiab, 1995; Mohrman et al,. 1995; Powell, 1995;

Hendricks and Singhal, 1996; Forker et al., 1997; Choi and Eboch, 1998; Easton and Jarrell,

1998; Adams et al., 1999; Dow et al., 1999; Terziovski and Samson, 1999 and 2000; Hua et

al., 2000; Zhang, 2000; Hendricks and Singhal, 2001a and 2001b).

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Since 1987, when the ISO 9000 series of standards appeared, a big amount of papers

about motivation for registration, costs and benefits of certification and its effects upon

company performance have been published. (Rayner and Porter, 1991; Askey and Dale, 1994;

Brecka, 1994; Vloeberghs and Bellens, 1996; Ebrahimpour et al., 1997; Meegan and Taylor,

1997; Brown et al, 1998, Anderson et al., 1999; Huarng et al., 1999; Hughes et al., 2000; Sun,

2000; Withers and Ebrahimpour, 2000; Gotzamani and Tsiotras, 2002) Most of these papers

were descriptive.

In many occasions, these studies regarding ISO 9000 have confused the standards

prescriptions with a total quality management system although, at the beginning, it was just as

a quality assurance system. In fact, many papers have studied the ISO 9000 impact in

performance referencing the TQM system.

Even though TQM and ISO 9000 have several differences in their principles that put the

certification far underneath (Martinez and Martinez, 2004), they also have some aspects in

common that could justify their joint analysis. However, this sort of research has usually been

developed in separated cells. Just a few researchers have compared the joint effect of TQM

and ISO 9000 within the same sample (Terziovski et al., 1997; Ismail and Hashmi, 1999; Sun,

1999; Rahman, 2001).

This paper attempts to analyse the ISO 9000 and TQM impact in company performance.

Our objective is to clarify the effect of each system according to their different nature.

Moreover, we will also analyse the way in which ISO 9000 contribute to TQM

implementation and the joint effect of both systems when they are implemented at the same

time in a company in order to point out any possible synergy between them.

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Along the revised literature it was generally found a positive effect of TQM on company

results. There are papers analysing the relationship of TQM with product quality and other

non financial results (Shetty, 1993; Elmuti and AlDiab, 1995; Mohrman et al,. 1995; Powell,

1995; Forker et al., 1997; Choi and Eboch, 1998; Dow et al., 1999; Terziovski and Samson,

1999 and 2000; Zhang, 2000). Others have analysed the effect on financial results (Easton and

Jarrell, 1998; Hua et al., 2000; Hendricks and Singhal, 2001a) and there are also papers

analysing the effect of TQM on the stock market value (Hendricks and Singhal, 1996; Easton

and Jarrell, 1998; Adams et al., 1999; Hendricks and Singhal, 2001b).

TQM has been considered mostly as one variable formed by many dimensions.

Previous papers have analysed the effect of the TQM variable over all kinds of results.

However, it has been found another group of research that relate each TQM dimension with

results (Mohrman et al., 1995; Powell, 1995; Forza and Filippini, 1998; Anderson and Sohal,

1999; Dow et al., 1999; Samson and Terziovski, 1999; Curkovic et al., 2000; Martínez-

Lorente et al., 2000). The purpose of this kind of research is to obtain evidence about the most

influential TQM dimensions for improving performance. In this sense, the general agreement

is that the most influential dimensions are those that Powell (1995) considers as intangible,

behavioural factors like leadership, organisational skill and culture, executive commitment,

open organisation and empowerment. For example, Dow et al. (1999) found that only 3 TQM

dimensions -employee commitment, shared vision and customer focus- had a positive

relationship with product quality. Anderson and Sohal (1999) found that the most important

TQM dimensions were leadership and customer focus. Samson and Terziovski (1999)

identified the variables of leadership, workforce management and customer focus as the most

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important. Therefore, TQM dimensions of top management support, workforce management,

employee attitudes and behaviour and customer relationship are the most important according

to the literature.

There are many papers on ISO 9000, but most of them are merely based on case studies or

are descriptive or prescriptive (Ebrahimpour et al., 1997; Withers and Ebrahimpour, 2000).

Moreover, only a small number analyse the relationship between ISO 9000 and company

results. This relationship is not clear according to the literature. Some papers show a positive

relationship between certification and results (Romano, 2000; Withers and Ebrahimpour,

2000; Santos and Escanciano, 2002). The positive results shown by many of them are often

mainly based on improvements in the rate of defects (Sun, 2000; Withers and Ebrahimpour,

2000) Other papers present a less optimistic vision of its benefits (Terziovski et al, 1997;

Simmons, 1999; Lima et al, 2000; Sun, 2000; Hua et al., 2000; Aarts and Vos, 2001; Singels

et al., 2001; Wayhan et al. 2002). Heras et al. (2002b) found a positive relationship between

company results and ISO 9000 certification. However, they later showed that the causal

relationship could be in the contrary way, that is, more profitable companies implemented the

ISO 9000 certification more (Heras et al., 2002a). Häversjö (2000) had reached the same

conclusion for Danish industry.

The most important reasons for obtaining ISO 9000 certification have been reported as of

external type, that is, they try to get it either because of pressure from customers and suppliers

or as a marketing tool (Rayner and Porter, 1991; Askey and Dale, 1994; Vloeberghs, 1996;

Ebrahimpour et al, 1997; Brown et al, 1998, Anderson et al., 1999; Hughes et al. , 2000;

Withers and Ebrahimpour, 2000). However, several papers show that the results from

certification depend on the type of company motivation for deciding to get it (Brecka, 1994;

Meegan and Taylor, 1997; Huarng et al., 1999; Hughes et al., 2000; Sun, 2000; Gotzamani

and Tsiotras, 2002, Terziovski et al., 2003). These authors state that companies that obtain

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ISO 9000 certification motivated by external reasons but who do not believe that it can really

help them to improve quality and efficiency get worse results than those that believe that ISO

9000 can be a good way to reduce quality costs. In this sense, Sun (2000) suggests that in

order to get benefits from ISO 9000 certification, this norm must be seen as a way towards


A minor group of researchers has compared the joint effects of TQM and ISO 9000 and

they agree in pointing out that TQM implementation leads to better results in more aspects

than ISO 9000 certification (Terziovski et al., 1997). However, one of the benefits attributable

to the standard is that it constitutes a good first step towards a TQM system, raising awareness

on quality amongst workers and creating a good climate to implement it (Taylor, 1995;

Tummala and Tang, 1996; Baena López, 1998; Skrabec, 1999; Sun, 2000; Escanciano et al. ,


There is even another group of researchers that affirm that the ISO 9000 certification has

more impact on company performance when it is implemented with the objective of

continuing and finally implementing a TQM system (Brecka, 1994; Meegan and Ta ylor,

1997; Huarng et al., 1999; Hughes et al., 2000; Sun, 2000; Gotzamani and Tsiotras, 2002).

It is important to point out that the literature shows that the TQM dimensions that best

influence companies’ results (the soft variables) are those that have a lesser weight in ISO

9000. Moreover, the points of TQM with more importance for ISO 9000 (basically process

control) do not have a significant positive effect on company results.

After having classified and revised the literature regarding TQM/ISO 9000 in company

performance the following hypotheses regarding the effect of TQM and ISO 9000 have been


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Hypotheses related with TQM:

H1: There is a positive relationship between TQM and company results

This hypothesis has been extensively tested in the literature. Our work only try to add

a new confirmation to the knowledge on this topic.

H2: The “soft” variables of TQM are the most influential in obtaining benefits from TQM

When TQM is divided into its core principles for the analysis, the majority of authors

report that these variables are the most important for getting better results. It contrasts with

the traditional view of quality management as quality control.

Hypotheses related with ISO 9000:

H3: There is no positive relationship between ISO 9000:1994 and company results

There are no clear conclusions regarding its benefits. On the contrary, it has been

pointed out that the most influential aspects of quality management are those not comprised in

the standard requisites.

H4: Internal motivation to get the certification is positively related to the benefits obtained

from certification

As it is stated in Huarng (1998), Van der Wiele et al. (2000), Withers and

Ebrahimpour (2001) and Singels et al. (2001), the ISO 9000 standards are so generic that only

the spirit in which the company want to apply them will change management and improve


Hypotheses related with the joint effect ISO 9000-TQM

H5: Companies registered by ISO 9000 after being applying TQM obtain fewer benefits

from ISO than companies that implement ISO firstly

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This hypothesis is based on the previous ones. If performance is only improved by

TQM implementation then, a company that had implemented TQM previously to ISO 9000

will not improve its results when it decide to implement the norm since these will have been

improved before. For the same reason the following hypothesis will be tested,

H6: Companies applying TQM and ISO 9000 have no better results than companies only

applying TQM


This research focus in industrial companies since ISO 9000 was originally created for

this kind of companies. In fact, the new version of the standard in 2000 had even to adapt the

vocabulary to service companies. Moreover, ISO 9000-service companies show different

characteristics than industrial, as it is related in the specialized literature regarding this issue

(Beaumont et al., 1997; Brah et al., 2000; McAdam and Canning, 2001; Gustafsson et al.,


Population was comprised by Spanish industrial companies with more than 100

employees and included in the “SABI” database. This database was employed because it

offers financial as well as general information that later could be used.

The study was addressed to the whole population with the aim of obtaining

generalizable results. In addition, this is the predominant focus in operations management

(Rungtusanatham et al., 2003). Total population was comprised of 2986 companies.

Data was gathered by a postal questionnaire sent to the companies in the population.

This methodology is widely recognised for confirmatory studies in operations management

since publications in more rigorous scientific journals apply it, being quality management and

specifically, ISO 9000, one of the five premium areas of interest (Rungtusanatham et al.,

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2003). The questionnaire was pre-tested by some academics and companies in the Region of


Questionnaires were sent to the attention of the “quality manager” without specifying the

name of the manager, since the database did not contain this information. Inside each envelope

we included a presentation letter, a questionnaire and a pre-paid addressed envelope to be

returned with the fulfilled questionnaire. In the letter, quality managers were offered a future

summary of final conclusions.

The first sending to 2986 companies was made in March 2003. In May 2003, with the

objective of improving the response rate, as advised by Frohlich (2002), a second sending was

done to 1500 randomly selected companies that had not responded the first time.

From the originally sent 2986 letters, 36 were returned due to unknown address (it was

supposed that those companies had probably changed their address or were extinguished), and

12 that initially were supposed to be manufacturing were services, so, the population was

finally composed of 2938 companies.

The number of valid received questionnaires was 713. It constitutes a response rate of

24,27%. Response rate is usually interpreted as evidence of the interest showed for the

research by managers. In this sense, a nearly 25% response rate is a considerable success with

Spanish companies and is higher than the suggested minimum in Malhotra and Grover (1998).



In order to measure TQM implementation the scale of Flynn et al. (1994) was chosen.

It is appropriate for manufacturing companies and is validated and accepted as a good

measurement of TQM in the literature. In fact, Malhotra and Grover (1998) advice to use

previously tested scale s in the literature and, as an example of a good scale to be used, they

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propose in their conclusions to use the Flynn et al. scale for measuring total quality

management practices in organizations.

In addition to that scale, in order to have another measurement of results directly

obtained from the implementation of TQM, we asked directly to the manager if the company

had implemented a TQM system. As we have also measured this issue with a perceptual

scale, the information provided by the directive can be tested for veracity.

ISO 9000

It is a categorical variable indicating if the company is or not certified.

Company Performance

Although there is not a clear performance definition in the literature, there is a general

agreement that it should not be limited just to the financial results (Quinn and Rohrbaugh,

1983; Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986) since it would be a partial vision of the business

situation (Curkovic et al., 2000).

Another debate regarding performance is the use of primary or secondary sources. In this

sense, it is recommended to use both in order to test if there is a convergence between them

(Venkatraman and Ramanujam, 1986).

Two types of measures of company results were used for this research: a subjective one

(respondents’ opinions) and an objective one (financial data). Both types of measures have

their problems. Reliability of subjective measures depends on the sincerity and good

information of managers. Financial data are influenced by the sector situation and this is

difficult to isolate from the analysis. Therefore, the use of both types may improve the

validity of results.

The subjective measure tried to assess the operational results of the company. Managers

were asked on how their companies compared with their competitors on:

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? Production costs.

? Fast delivery.

? Flexibility to change production volume and adapt stocks.

? Cycle time.

? Internal quality

? External quality

? Customer satisfaction

? Market share

? Employees satisfaction

In addition to this, we asked managers about specific improvements in these measures

from the date they implemented TQM and ISO 9000, so we have evidence about not only

their results comparing with competitors but also compared with the situation in which they

were before the implementation of any of the quality systems.

Financial measures were two:

? Productivity


The 3 last years average was used in order to avoid possible external events that could

affect these measurements if only the last year was used..

The questions had to be responded on a 1 to 7 scale: 1 far below competitors, 7 far over

competitors. This scale was different from the rest of questions (5 point-scale). It was made in

this way because according to some authors (Lissitz and Green, 1975), scales with more than

5 points are less reliable, and also because our pretest proved that 5 point scales were easier to

answer and it could improve the response rate. However, regarding performance, as the last

two questions asked the manager to position himself from strong worsening to strong

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improvement in the company from the certification/TQM implementation, companies would

probably only answer from the middle of the scale to the end. Consequently, with a 5-point

scale we would only have had 3 points. With a 7-point scale information would be richer. In

the pre-test this suspicion was confirmed so we decided to apply the 7-point scale just for

performance measurement.

Summing up, this research collects hard results information from a primary source (the

survey to the quality managers) and financial data from a secondary source (SABI database).


4.1 Reliability and validity

The first step in our research is to evaluate if the scales of measurement are reliable and


The Cronbach alpha has been calculated for each of them and is presented in table 1.

In order to maximise the reliability some items have been deleted, with the condition of

leaving at least three items in each scale (number of items in brackets).


Scale Cronbach alpha

Leadership (4) 0,8202
Rewards system (3) 0,8157
Process control (3) 0,7925
Feedback (3) 0,8597
Process management (3) 0,8501
New product’s design (4) 0,7699
Interfunctional design (3) 0,7134
Selection (3) 0,8539
Teamwork (3) 0,8781
Suppliers relationship (4) 0,7305
Customers orientation (3) 0,7363
Performance (9) 0,8295

As it can be seen, all the scales are reliable (values higher to 0.7)

Content validity in our research can be assumed, at least in the TQM scale, since it has

been previously tested in the literature (Flynn et al., 1994).

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Construct validity can be tested by convergent and discriminant validity. The last is

usually checked by applying factorial analysis to each scale and seeing if all its components

score in an only factor with eigenvalue higher than 1. All the scales except performance

scored in one factor. Performance scale’s items weighted into two factors, as shown in table 2.


Factor 1 Factor 2
Unit production costs Manufacturing quality
Fast delivery Design quality
Flexibility Customers satisfaction
Cycle time Market share
Employees satisfaction

According to these results, the performance scale should be divided into two scales.

Factor 1 was called “hard results” since variables that correlated with this factor were more

easily measured and mainly related with costs. Factor 2 was called “soft results” since its

variables are more difficult to measure and mainly related with quality.

The Cronbach alpha was calculated again for the new scales. The result was 0,7290 for

hard factor and 0,8134 for soft factor, so in later analysis we will introduce two scales of

qualitative results instead of one.

Convergent validity is theoretically grounded on the basis that one scale used to

measure one concept is correlated with another with the same purpose. In our questionnaire

we introduced a direct question about the implementation of TQM. We are able to test if both

measurements are correlated. As one of them is a categorical variable we did an analysis of

variance (ANOVA) comparing the means of values for each scale, dividing the sample into

companies that said to be applying TQM and companies that did not. Table 3 shows the



N Mean F Sig.
Leadership Do not apply GCT 486 3,4729 17,869 0,000

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Apply GCT 216 3,7473

Do not apply GCT 486 2,1317
Rewards system 39,058 0,000
Apply GCT 216 2,6358
Do not apply GCT 485 2,5165
Process control 56,464 0,000
Apply GCT 216 3,0756
Do not apply GCT 484 2,3216
Feedback 75,669 0,000
Apply GCT 216 3,1451
Do not apply GCT 484 3,6257
Process management 12,452 0,000
Apply GCT 216 3,8796
Do not apply GCT 479 3,4706
New products design 13,850 0,000
Apply GCT 213 3,6925
Do not apply GCT 478 3,1555
Interfunctional design 25,710 0,000
Apply GCT 212 3,5079
Do not apply GCT 483 3,2008
Selection 23,487 0,000
Apply GCT 215 3,5558
Do not apply GCT 484 3,1818
Teamwork 37,597 0,000
Apply GCT 216 3,6543
Do not apply GCT 486 3,5869
Suppliers 9,584 0,002
Apply GCT 216 3,7689
Do not apply GCT 484 3,6402
Customers 22,945 0,000
Apply GCT 216 3,9568

This output leads us to think that the scale has convergent validity because, despite not

having used two scales to corroborate it, the scale converges towards a measure that it is

supposed to converge. Moreover, these results allow us to use the direct question later in the

test of hypotheses.

4.2 Possible sample bias

As the companies surveyed were obtained from a database in which there is

information about size (number of employees), sector and financial results, we can examine if

there are important differences between sample and population.

The first difference analysed was the sector distribution. Table 4 shows the number of

companies in each industry (percentage in brackets).



Food and beverages 417 (14,8%) 97 (14 %)
Tobacco 7 (0,2%) 0 (0%)
Textiles 137 (4,8%) 16 (2,3%)
Confectionery 68 (2,4%) 6 (1%)
Leather 36 (1,3%) 67(0,9%)
Wood 59 (2,1%) 24 (3,5%)

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Paper 96 (3,4%) 25 (3,6%)

Printing 164 (5,8%) 20 (2,9%)
Petrol 6 (0,2%) 3 (0,4%)
Chemical 270 (9,6%) 64 (9,3%)
Plastics 165 (5,8%) 49 (7,1%)
Non metallic minerals 245 (8,7) 65 (9,4%)
Iron 110 (3,9%) 31 (4,5%)
Metals 235 (8,3%) 60 (8,7%)
Machinery and mechanical equipment 185 (6,6%) 57 (8,2%)
Office and computer systems 9 (0,3%) 3 (0,4%)
Machinery and electric equipment 122 (4,3%) 38 (5,5%)
Electronic equipment. Radio, TV and communication equipment 47 (1,7%) 13 (1,9%)
Medical, surgery and optician equipment 28 (1%) 9 (1,3%)
Automobile industry 177 (6,3%) 45 (6,5%)
Other transportation industry 62 (2,2%) 17 (2,5%)
Furniture 89 (3,2%) 25 (3,6%)
Recycling 6 (0,2%) 2 (0,3)
Production and distribution of electric energy, gas and hot water 23 (0,8%) 8 (1,2%)
Water dis tribution 46 (1,6%) 4 (0,6%)
Building 14 (0,5%) 3 (0,4%)

To analyse if there is a difference between the sample and the population we

correlated the number of companies existing in each sector with the number of companies of

each sector in the sample. The Pearson correlation was 0,957 and significant at the 1% level.

It means that the sample is a good representation of the population regarding to the industry


An analysis of variance (ANOVA) comparing the average of employees in the

population and the sample was done in order to test if there was any difference in relation to

company size. The ANOVA did not reject the null hypothesis of equal means (F=0,034,

p=0,854) so it is not possible to affirm that means are different.

The averaged ROA was also compared , and the results of the ANOVA did not prove

that means of population and sample were different (F=0,724, p=0,395).

Once collected the information, there are possible bias that can be tested. First of all, it

could be thought that respondents are more interested in quality than non-respondents and this

could mean that respondents have higher levels of quality management than non respondents.

This problem was faced assuming in first place that quality levels of non respondents are

similar to the levels of the latest respondents. The total quality management averages of both

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the first ten days respondents and the latter 10 days was then compared. No important

differences (F=2,821; p=0,094) were detected. On the other side, we compared the quality

means of respondents in the first and second survey. We again did not find any difference

(F=3,596; p=0,058).

Another possible bias is the person who answers the questionnaire. We compared the

quality means between all the possible respondents and did not find any difference (F=0,830;


Explained all that, it cannot be affirmed that our sample is biased in those aspects.

However, we can not defend that the sample is not biased by another fact that could not been


4.3 Test of hypotheses

TQM hypotheses

In order to test the effect of TQM over company results we count on two continuous

variables: TQM (the mean of points in each dimension) and results (as concluded from the

factorial analysis we have hard, soft, ROA and productivity, these last two as the average

during the last three years). The way to find any relationship between two continuous

variables is using the Pearson correlation. Results are shown in table 5.


Variables Hard results Soft results ROA Productivity

TQM 0,381*** 0,510*** 0,001 0,050
*** p<0,01;**p<0,05

It can be pointed out a positive and significant relationship between TQM and hard

and soft results, but not with financial results.

However, we have considered TQM as a whole. In order to test the influence of each

of its dimensions we have correlated all of them with the results, as shown in table 6.

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Variables Hard results Soft results ROA Productivity

LEADERSHIP 0,300*** 0,413*** 0,006 0,044
INFORMATION 0,221*** 0,265*** -0,053 -0,001
PROCESS MANAGEMENT 0,269*** 0,336*** 0,70 0,106***
DESIGN 0,321*** 0,461*** -0,004 0,005
HUMAN RESOURCE 0,296*** 0,419*** 0,013 0,100***
SUPPLIERS 0,265*** 0,412*** 0,037 0,045
CUSTOMERS 0,281*** 0,287*** 0,009 -0,033
*** p<0,01;**p<0,05

All dimensions are affecting hard and soft results. None affects ROA and just Process

Management and Human Resource Management affect the productivity results. It is important

to note that the process management dimension according to Flynn includes the items related

to the tidiness and cleanliness of the plant, so it could be considered that the only two

variables affecting productivity are “soft”, although the evidence is still low.

ISO 9000 hypotheses

The first hypothesis stated the effect between ISO 9000 certification and company’s

results. As the ISO variable is categorical, we have made an analysis of variance to find any

difference between the results me ans in the groups of certified and non-certified companies.

Table 7 shows the results.


N Mean F Sig.
Non certified 227 4,8051
Hard results 4,828 0,028
Certified 467 4,9602
Non certified 227 4,9778
Soft results 0,707 0,401
Certified 467 5,0352
Non certified 231 4,3088
ROA 1,306 0,254
Certified 475 4,8642
Non certified 229 1,7591
Productivity 0,320 0,572
Certified 475 1,7992

As it can be seen, the only affected results may be the hard results. The hard results

variable is composed by the items related to the process management, and it is in this point

where the ISO 9000:1994 focuses its attention.. However, soft results are mainly related with

quality, the element that justifies ISO 9000.These results confirms partially our hypothesis 3,

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ISO 9000 does not have an important effect on results. The only perceived effect is on the

results more related with cost and the production department and this could be related with

the importance that in the application of ISO 9000:1994 have received the control and

measurement issues.

The results above could be influenced by the fact that companies that have adopted

ISO 9000 certification are those that have implemented TQM previously. In order to avoid

this bias, the TQM variable was introduced like a covariate in the ANCOVA, as shown in

table 8.



Average N Sig.
Non certified 4,8000 225
Hard results 0,026
Certified 4,9601 466
Non certified 4,9767 225
Soft results 0,504
Certified 5,0344 466
Non certified 4,3077 225
ROA 0,254
Certified 4,8736 466
Non certified 1,7562 225
Productivity 0,509
Certified 1,8057 466

Again, certified companies have significantly higher results than non certified firms

only in hard results, once eliminated the effect of TQM.

Motivation has been traditionally considered as a moderating factor at attaining results

from the registration. In order to test hypothesis 4, an analysis of variance between all the

levels in the question of motivation for certification (5 very motivated internally, 1 very

motivated externally) was done. Table 9 shows the results.

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Motivation level N Average F Sig.

1 43 4,4651
2 109 4,4694
Operative results from certification 3 132 4,7424 7,645 0,000
4 140 4,8000
5 97 4,9897
1 45 4,7544
2 109 4,8683
External results from certification 3 132 4,9830 10,118 0,000
4 140 5,1782
5 97 5,3918

The results support the literature. The average results in the different groups are higher

when the motivation is more internal and lower when it is mostly external.

ISO 9000-TQM hypotheses

The first statement advocated that companies that implemented the TQM system in

first place and later the ISO 9000 would get fewer benefits from certification than companies

that had implemented ISO 9000 firstly.

To test this hypothesis we created a new variable as the difference of the years since

the company started to apply TQM and ISO 9000. This new variable was correlated with the

results from certification. Table 10 shows the results.



Hard results from Soft results from

certification certification
Difference of the number of years since the
-0,036 -0,149
implementation of TQM and ISO 9000

The results do not confirm our hypothesis. This hypothesis was tested again with an

analysis of variance examining differences in means of companies having applied TQM or

ISO 9000 in first place, as it is showed in table 11.

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N Media F Sig.
First TQM later ISO 9000 32 4,9609
Hard results from certification 0,51 0,821
First ISO 9000 later TQM 86 4,9215
First TQM later ISO 9000 32 5,1703
Soft results from certification 0,132 0,717
First ISO 9000 later TQM 86 5,2291

The previous results are confirmed now. There is no evidence enough to sustain any

difference in results varying with the order in which TQM was implemented. However, it is

important to note that the year of implementation of TQM was asked directly and

consequently this date could be incorrect, maybe just the date in which the company is

starting to plan a TQM implementation.

The second question was if companies applying TQM and ISO 9000 obtained higher

results than companies applying just TQM. We made an analysis of variance between both

groups of companies. Results appear in table 12.



N Average F Sig.
TQM 55 5,0015
Hard results 0,332 0,565
TQM and ISO 158 5,0754
TQM 55 5,1127
Soft results 0,239 0,626
TQM and ISO 158 5,1707
TQM 57 4,2623
ROA 0,276 0,600
TQM and ISO 160 4,7330
TQM 56 1,7279
Productivity 0,164 0,686
TQM and ISO 160 1,7952

There is no difference between those groups. Hypothesis 6 is then confirmed.


This research is a new contribution to the knowledge on the relationships of both TQM

and ISO 9000 with company results. The data has been obtained from a sample of Spanish

industrial companies. Firstly, using a previously tested scale to measure TQM

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implementation, the effect of different dimensions of TQM on different measures of company

results was evaluated. Results were measured according two objective financial data (ROA

and productivity) and subjective internal data. These subjective data were divided after a

factorial analysis in two measures, hard results and soft results. Hard results were results more

related with costs and soft results were more related with quality.

Our analysis does not let us to affirm that all kinds of results considered are

significantly better for TQM companies since the financial results were not affected according

to our findings. However, financial results can be measured following different criteria and

are affected by multiple factors that we were not able to isolate in this research. Moreover, all

TQM dimensions were positively correlated with the two measures of qualitative results

considered. Two of these dimensions were also slightly correlated with an objective result,

productivity: the human resource management dimension and the tidiness and cleanliness of

the workplace dimension. In summary, it can be concluded that our research is a new support

to the advantages of adopting a TQM policy.

The ISO 9000 standard affects mostly to hard results. It seems logical since ISO 9000

is basically a process management-oriented quality assurance system. The moderating effect

of motivation is supported by this research since it has been found that internally motivated

companies get more benefits from certification than externally motivated ones.

We did not find any evidence to support that companies that had implemented a TQM

system obtained less benefits from registration than the ones having applied ISO 9000 first.

However, we have the problem of the date of TQM implementation. What we found is that

the ISO 9000 does not add any value to companies that have previously implemented a TQM

system. Therefore, companies with a TQM system had no incentives to get an ISO 9000

certification unless their clients or other organisations do it compulsory for them.

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The authors would like to thank the financial support provided by Fundación Séneca for this


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1. Please, mark your position in the company at the moment.

? General Manager ? Member of the production department

? Quality manager
? General manager for Spain ? Member of the quality department
? Production manager
? Plant manager ? Other:

2.Please, specify the product with higher production volume in your company

3. How many product lines are manufactured in your company?

4. Please, specify the average number of employees in 2002

5. What is the nationality of the main stakeholders in your company?

? Spanish ? USA
? Other. Please say
? Other EU ? Japanese

6. What is the percentage of sales for each of the following markets?

Country Percentage
1. Spain
2. Other EU
3. Rest of the world
TOTAL 100%

7. Position of your company between the points below:

Workers have the higher importance in the Machinery have the higher importance in the
1 2 3 4 5
production process production process
It is workforce intensive 1 2 3 4 5 It is capital intensive
Our competence is strong 1 2 3 4 5 Our competence is weak
Our customers are loyal. They never change
1 2 3 4 5 Our customers change often of supplier
of supplier
Competence in our sector is based mainly on Competence in our sector is based mainly on
1 2 3 4 5
prices, not in differentiation differentiation, not in prices
Our sector is saturated. There are a lot of Our sector is growing. There is still room for more
1 2 3 4 5
companies companies
SECTION B: If your company is not registered please go directly to section C

8. Mark the certificate/s of quality assurance that your company has got and the year of certification:

? ISO 9001:1994 Year: ? ISO TS 16949 Year:

? ISO 9002:1994 Year: ? ISO 9001:2000 Year:
9. The decision of being registered by ISO 9000 may basically be caused by external pressures (customers or the fact that
being certified is a previous condition to be able to sell in some markets), internal reasons (belief that the company will increase
its performance) or both reasons. Indicate the importance of these reasons in your company at the time of obtaining the
registration. (“1” would be external reasons and “5” main reason is internal)
External pressures 1 2 3 4 5 Internal causes
10. What registration body did your company chose?
? Bureau Veritas
? Lloyds Register
? Other:
11. Please mark the main reason for choosing the registration body:
? It was the most known in Spain
? It was the most known in the market in which we act
? It was “permissive”

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? It was recommended by our customers

? It w as the cheapest
? Other:


12. Mark your level of agreement/disagreement in these statements (1: completely agree; 5: completely disagree)
Completely Completely
disagree agree
All major department heads within our plant accept their responsibility for quality 1 2 3 4 5
Plant management provides personal leadership for quality products and quality improvement 1 2 3 4 5
The top priority is evaluating plant management in quality performance 1 2 3 4 5
Our top management strongly encourages employee involvement in the production process 1 2 3 4 5
Workers are rewarded for quality improvements 1 2 3 4 5
We pay a group incentive for quality improvement ideas 1 2 3 4 5
Our plant has a annual bonus system based on plant productivity 1 2 3 4 5
Non financial incentives are used to reward quality improvement 1 2 3 4 5

Processes in our plant are designed to be “fool proof” 1 2 3 4 5

A large percent of the equipment or processes on the shop floor are currently under statistical
1 2 3 4 5
quality control
We make extensive use of statistical techniques to reduce variance in processes 1 2 3 4 5
Charts showing defect rates are posted on the shop floor 1 2 3 4 5
Charts showing schedule compliance are posted on the shop floor 1 2 3 4 5
Charts plotting the frequency of machine breakdowns are posted on the shop floor 1 2 3 4 5
Workers are always told when they do a good job 1 2 3 4 5
Information on productivity is readily available to employees 1 2 3 4 5
My manager always comments about the quality of my work 1 2 3 4 5

Our plant emphasizes putting all tools and fixtures in their place 1 2 3 4 5
We take pride in keeping our plant neat and clean 1 2 3 4 5
Our plant is kept clean at all times 1 2 3 4 5
I never have trouble finding the tools I need 1 2 3 4 5
Our plant is disorganized and dirty 1 2 3 4 5

New product designs are thoroughly reviewed before the product is produced and sold 1 2 3 4 5
Customer requirements are thoroughly analyzed in the new product design process 1 2 3 4 5
La calidad de los nuevos productos nos preocupa más que su coste 1 2 3 4 5
New product quality is a more important priority than new product quality 1 2 3 4 5
Quality is more important than schedule concerns in the new product development process 1 2 3 4 5
Direct labor employees are involved to a great extent before introducing new products or making
1 2 3 4 5
product changes
There is little involvement of manufacturing and quality people in the early design of products,
1 2 3 4 5
before they reach the plant
We work in teams, with members from a variety of areas to introduce new products 1 2 3 4 5

We use ability to work in a team as a criterion in employee selection 1 2 3 4 5

We use problem solving ability as a criterion in selecting employees 1 2 3 4 5
We use work values and ethics as a criterion in employee selection 1 2 3 4 5
Our plant is organized into permanent production teams 1 2 3 4 5
During problem solving sessions, we make an effort to get all team members´ opinions and
1 2 3 4 5
ideas before making a decision
Our plant form teams to solve problems 1 2 3 4 5
In the past three years, many problems have been solved through small group sessions 1 2 3 4 5

We strive to establish long-term relationships with suppliers 1 2 3 4 5

Our suppliers are actively involved in our new product development process 1 2 3 4 5
Quality is our number one criterion in selecting suppliers 1 2 3 4 5
We rely on a small number of high quality suppliers 1 2 3 4 5

We frequently are in close contact with our customers 1 2 3 4 5

Our customers often visit our plant 1 2 3 4 5
Our customers give us feedback on quality and delivery performance 1 2 3 4 5


13. Please, select in which competitive position is your company in comparison with its competitors relating to these
performance measurements (1: Much worse, 7:Much better)
Much worse Much better

Unit production costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fast deliveries 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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Flexibility to change production volume and inventories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Cycle time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Design quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Manufacturing quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Customers satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Employees satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Market share 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

14. ONLY FOR COMPANIES APPLYING ISO 9000 Since your company obtained the ISO 9000 certification How these
performance measures have evolved (in average)? (1: Strong decrease; 7: Strong increase)

Strong decrease Strong increase

Unit production costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fast deliveries 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Flexibility to change production volume and inventories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Cycle time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Design quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Manufacturing quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Customers satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Employees satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Market share 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


?NO ? YES. (tell us the approximate date in which it started)

16. ONLY FOR COMPANIES APPLYING TQM Since your company implemented a TQM system How these performance
measures have evolved (in average)? (1: Strong decrease; 7: Strong increase)

Strong decrease Strong decrease

Unit production costs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Fast deliveries 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Flexibility to change production volume and inventories 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Cycle time 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Design quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Manufacturing quality 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Customers satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Employees satisfaction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Market share 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

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